Addicted to technology

Big tech is preying on young lives

With technology developing faster than anyone can publish research into its harms, and with children spending hours online each day, we are leaving young people completely unprotected from the tech industry. Designed to be addictive and completely unregulated, how much gold-standard evidence do we need before we act? asks Bernadka Dubicka.

 

Earlier this year I took part in an IAI debate about social media and addiction, speaking as a child psychiatrist. As happened with Covid-19, and previously with the climate debate, the academic arguments rage on while the research lags far behind the growth of technology. In the years it takes to complete a study, the tech industry will have moved on to the next generation of platforms, apps, and young users. The research is out of date before it has barely started.

How long do we wait for sufficient gold-standard evidence of the harms of tech on children before we act? Ten years? Twenty? In the meantime, do we belie

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